Writing Tips

Writing Tip: When should you be revising/editing your work?

Revise/Edit AFTER Your First Complete Draft
So often I hear this question: “When should I revise my work? Should I be focused on editing the grammar and syntax as I go along? Should I edit after I finish a chapter? A scene? A paragraph? Within the sentence?”
First, let me say that different writers write and edit differently. However, I highly suggest that you do not edit AT ALL until your first draft is completed.
Editing IS important and this cannot be emphasized enough. However, trying to edit as you write can often be detrimental to your creative processes. When you are first writing it is important to simply write, to let the words go, and get the sentences out. When you first write, you do not want to be encumbered by thoughts of grammatical error or plot holes.
I am not saying that grammar and consistency are not important, they are, but not when you first start drafting. The point of the first draft is simply to create. Once you have finished the first draft, then it is time to go back and edit.
Therefore, once you have finished, I suggest editing chapter by chapter. Check and make sure every chapter has a fully developed arc and correct your grammar. After that, do a second revision to check that all of your chapters flow into one another and that the story is complete with no gaps.

Happy Writing Everyone!

***If you enjoyed today’s Writing Tip, be sure to check out other tips under the “Writing Tips” section on my home page!


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27 thoughts on “Writing Tip: When should you be revising/editing your work?”

  1. I use the free version of Grammarly, which is very helpful. I find that if I walk away from my rough draft and then come back to it, I catch more errors. Also, regarding previous posts, it is a good idea to do a blog audit every now and then. Sometimes, things go awry and you may find missing images, grammatical errors and/or a post you may want to rework.

    I change themes frequently, which not everything runs smoothly in the transition.

    Thanks for the tips, Kayla.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I constantly writing and re-writing :(( I just afraid to forget to correct certain scene/part of a dialog/etc. in the end of the first draft. Probably, that’s why I have been writing my first novel for almost two years, and then it took me a year to edit it…for the twentieth time:((

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally feel your struggle, but at some point we have to stop focusing on being perfect and start focusing on completing the project because once it is complete we have clear eyes to edit. It also helps to get a friend’s opinion because they aren’t seeing it through your eyes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely! Feedback is extremely important. My first novel went all around a local writing group which I’ve been attending for almost two years, my husband and most of my friends have read it, too. My husband has been forced to read it twice;))) The very first draft and the final one;)))

        Liked by 1 person

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